SC lifts ban on 'Sadda Haq'
Friday, April, 26 2013 - 17:23
NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH: After viewing the controversial Punjab film Sadda Haq, the Supreme Court today lifted the ban imposed on the screening of the film that deals with the turbulent times of militancy in Punjab. The film was banned by the state governments of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, MP and UP.
The Supreme Court Friday watched the film "Sadda Haq" that has allegedly taken an exalted view of the days of extremism and its leaders in Punjab. The producers of the film had filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking lifting of the ban on its screening in Punjab, Chandigarh and Delhi.
The deicision was taken after a bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Vikramajit Sen and senior counsel Fali Nariman, Rajiv Dhawan, and Additional Solicitor General Rebecca John watched the film that was screened screened in the apex court premises Friday afternoon.
The counsel for Punjab, Chandigarh and Delhi too were allowed to be present at the screening of the film.
The film has been alleged to be contentious as it depicts the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Punjab militancy and the police brutalities in a biased manner. It was to be released April 5 but was banned on April 4 by the Punjab and Delhi government and the Chandigarh administration.
On Thursday, senior counsel Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the Vital Media - the producer of the film, said that after the film had been cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification, it could not be banned till it has been screened in cinema hall.
"It is only if something happens consequent to the screening of the film that the government could intervene to clamp a ban on its screening," he had contended, adding that banning the screening of the film was the last resort after all efforts to maintain law and order had failed.
He said that the public screening of the film was a pre-condition before a ban could come.
Gonsalves had maintained that the ban on the film "Sadda Haq" was based on the likelihood of the screening of the film posing threat to the peace and tranquility.
Gonsalves recalled that the apex court bench with Justice Dave on it had Aug 19, 2011, had quashed the Utter Pradesh government's order 'suspending the screening' of film maker Prakash Jha's film "Aarakshan".
All India Sikh Students Federation president Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad hailed the apex court decision as the victory of the freedom of expression.